Tokyo Gate Bridge, Japan 

Tokyo Gate Bridge, also called the Dinosaur Bridge (derived from its shape), is a 2.6km-long truss bridge over Tokyo Bay in the capital city of Japan.

The bridge connects manmade island Wakasu with the Jonanjima Seaside Park. Wakasu, located in the Koto ward of Tokyo, is a major industrial area with half of it covered by a golf course. Jonanjima is a seaside park in the Ota ward, one of the 23 municipalities of Tokyo. The bridge was opened in February 2012.

“The Japanese Government is estimated to have spent JPY113bn ($1.5bn) on the construction of the bridge.”
The Tokyo Gate Bridge forms part of the Rinkai Tokyo Port Seaway. It reduces the travel time from the Shin Kiba district in Koto, Tokyo to Wakasu in half, to ten minutes. It also provides an alternative route to truckers transporting cargo to the Aomi and Oi container terminals.

The bridge, along with a new ring road and two major loop lines provides an important connect to the container terminal being built on the artificial island. The ring road and the loop lines are under construction. The ring road is expected to be completed by 2014.

The Tokyo Gate Bridge is a steel hybrid structure designed to withstand an earthquake. It can handle 32,000 vehicles a day. The bridge is 2,618m long and 87.8m high. The central span of the bridge is 440m long.

The height of the bridge had to be restricted to less than 100m as it is on the way to Haneda airport and aircraft fly low over this area. The bridge, at the same time, had to be high enough to allow for the ships to pass underneath it. These restrictions were considered in choosing the truss model over a cable-stayed or a suspension bridge design. The trusses resemble two dinosaurs facing each other.

Epic Japan Culture & Adventure Route © Monika Newbound

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